Tomorrow is the final pre-season match, the traditional dress rehearsal in which we face exciting or challenging opposition and we can expect to see more or less the team that would take part in the first league match. This year we have gone for a slightly different approach, choosing the club with the longest name in British football and a limited London support base. Watch out for the first person who shouts out 'Give me an I ...'
This rather underwhelming game fits in with the nature of the pre-season, with two low key signings and no new striker in evidence. Of course, we could be in for a surprise with a late addition taking the No.9 or No.10 shirt. And I hope the game gets a decent attendance for the sake of 'Paddy' Powell.
Are Charlton destined to be the new Burnley, unlikely to be promoted or relegated, or if they did go up, destined to survive in the top flight for just one season? Of course, there are worse places to be. Just think of the fans of Coventry City, destined to travel 34 miles to watch home games. It's the equivalent of Charlton playing at Crawley Town.
It also has to be said that some other Championship sides have not that been active in making new signings, given that they are all constrained by the new fair play rules. We had Leicester City's first team squad at Leamington a couple of weeks ago and a large contingent of Foxes turned up in the hope of sight or at least news of a new acquisition. To be fair, Leicester were able to secure a fairly emphatic 2-0 win.
At the end of the day I am more of an optimist than a pessimist because I retain faith in Sir Chris Powell and his ability to get the best out of a squad where morale appears to be high.